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It's a Beautiful Day for a Plunge: Kirkland 2012

JanisLenorePolarPlunge2011<---me & my friend Lenore (she was a first timer in 2011! Way to go!)

This level of crazy doesn't care about the weather.  The tradition of running into a freezing cold body of water to ring in the New Year is something you have to experience for yourself to understand it.  You don't need skills or even brains...just a whole lot of heart and maybe a few friends to help nudge you along.  It's exhilarating!

Bock bock bock-don't be a chicken! New Year's Day - this Sunday, at 1pm masses of plungers will converge on Marina Park in Kirkland. These renegades have no concern that this is no longer an organized event, they are thrill seekers that cannot be stopped.  Some are even in costume and rush all over Seattle/Eastside doing as many plunges as they can squeeze in for the day.  Not even the fruit cakes they ate over the holidays will slow them down from charging into the 47 degree waters.  It's just a quick dip- then off for some soup, coffee and a huddle near the bonfire. 

PolarPlunge2009 014<--from a few yrs ago, but I love the face on the lady in the red/white bathing suit

I just surveyed my family to see who's participating.  We're 3 for 5: One 39 year old that's more scared to put her bathing suit on than get in the water.  One 8 year old that did it last year and is grinning ear to ear to do it again.  And a 6 year old first timer that I suspect will make it to his knees and run back to his bockbock chicken Daddy and sister (who tried it last yr).  But at least he's man enough to try.  

Get there a little early so you have time to park and situate your towel and warm clothes for when you get out.  Water shoes help too.  Will we see YOU there????? 

My Exit Interview with Bill Vadino

Bill Vadino has stepped down as the Executive Director for the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and Kirkland Downtown Association (KDA).  He will be moving on to become the Show Director for the Kirkland Concours d'Elegance.  He also has another mysterious Eastside consulting gig in the works which he will be announcing soon.  So, before Bill pushes out on his sleigh, I had a few questions and they went something like this... (I'm in bold)


Pressing questions...Yes or No..

Is parking a problem in Kirkland? "Can you hold for a second? I am looking for a parking space"

Will the Antique Mall be there forever? "No--I just told Marilyn Dillard there will be a Santa Claus."

Are there too many spas and salons downtown? "Oh--are those all the places between the restaurants, coffee shops and consignment clothes stores?"

Is that you that dresses up the cow statue on Central every holiday? "I thought it was you and your kids--or PETA"

Too many political floats in the 4th of July parade? "Politicians in the parade? I am shocked, shocked..."

 Hard to believe, but not everyone in Kirkland knows Bill Vadino,  Director of the KDA and Kirkland Chamber of Commerce.  Tell us what the heck that means in 3 sentences or less. 

 "Well the Chamber is a membership organization of businesses that believe that "what is good for neighbors is good for business" by making Kirkland a great place to work, live and play.  Most importantly for me aside from the networking events, public policy advocacy, business assistance and downtown/community events is the community service aspect getting neighbors and business folks (sometimes  to volunteer to help the hungry, homeless, and those who need medical care.  The Kirkland Concours was (at least for me) the piece de resistance with it generating 1.5 million for uncompensated medical care for children over the last 9 years. 

 -Where are you scurrying off to and why?

"Well, I have four tasks and I am keeping two, shedding two and adding one.  After 10 years (combined) I will be leaving the Chamber and Downtown Association to focus on my two other tasks--the Kirkland Concours which, while is planned by volunteers here in Kirkland and on the eastside, will be at the new LeMay America's Car Museum in Tacoma as well as my "friends and family."  Another exciting position on the eastside will be announced eventually which I am looking forward to as well.  Good news is that I will be around as many of my friends are here"

 -Tell me why you think Kirkland is Super Cool.  And what would make it even cooler

 "It's the people and their volunteerism linked with the small town Mayberry with enough Peyton Place to keep things interesting.  What would be even cooler is to have a foundation that helps fund all of our community organizations from those who help the needy as well as the arts and event organizations."

 -Favorite event in Kirkland? (tough to pick one, I know) 

 Well...now that the Kirkland Concours is moving and I don't have to be "Switzerland" anymore I would say Summerfest and Moss Bay Days which may return in a new incarnation next summer.

 -Who will (try to) fill your shoes? Still looking for candidates? What unique skills are required besides looking snappy in a suit and having the balance to hang off of ladders while hanging holiday decorations? (photo)

 "Bond, James Bond.  With all his stunt work as the new Bond, Daniel Craig would be perfect on the ladders.  Or Charles Durning as the governor in the "Little W****house in Texas ("oh I like to dance the little side step...now you see me now you don’t) for all the moments when my successor tries to please all he people all the time.  Most of what happens will continue in exemplary fashion because of all the volunteers that have enabled success since 1935.  Are you available?"

 -If it was your last meal in Kirkland, where would you go?  

 "I would be a like a hobbit and have six meals (two breakfasts, lunches and dinners) so George's, Hectors, Sasi's, Bin, Crab Cracker, of course Trellis.  And dessert at Sweet Cakes."

 Good luck Bill! We will miss you (but we still know where to find you!) ~j 






Kirkland Holiday Guide: Beauty!

Mirror mirror on the wall................

Let me just say that you MEN have it easy.  As a matter of fact- guys, just delete this post. Unless you want to win some prizes for your significant other, which of course is really sweet and will score you big points.  We ladies don't  want you to know that we have to work this hard for our good looks.  We wake up looking like this. With holiday parties in full swing and New Year's Eve just around the corner, we're about to talk primping, toning, extending, curling, brushing, whitening, tanning, polishing and poofing.  What is poofing? I don't know but at 39 yrs old I'm sure I need to be doing that too.

So many cool deals in this post.  I told all of the shop owners that we want to be super pretty but we don't want to be broke. They're making it happen for all of you Kirkland Blog readers so get out there and support our local businesses and thank them for participating!

Haute Philosophy Salon
- 118 Central Way-HOLIDAY BLOWOUT BASH on Friday 12/16 5-9pm.  This new salon is offering FREE shampoo/blow-dry-styles and makeup applications all evening.  Drinks and appetizers too.  Score- get there early- first come first served! There will also be additional services that evening at special prices, such as : $8 paraffin hand treatments, $10 styles w/curling iron or smoothing iron, $20 Awapuhi Keratin treatments (usually $40).

All day long they will have holiday gift packages for 50% off that day.  Men's cut/hair treatment valued at $41 for $20, women's haircut/Keratin treatment valued at $78 for $35, color glosses, full foils and more. 425-828-4247

Penterra Spa at The Heathman Hotel
- 220 Kirkland Ave-The holidays are stressful so don't forget to relax and indulge YOURSELF in the relaxing safehaven of Penterra Spa. So many awesome services to choose from like a seasonal Pumpkin Spice Facial or their signature massage with Chakra gemstones, which are a few of their December specials

 *Do you need a spa treatment? Head to theHeathman's Facebook page and tell them why you need to be pampered this holiday season.*  One lucky reader will win a complimentary treatment at Penterra! Which of these sounds most heavenly to you? 

If you're feeling too guilty to buy for yourself, you should know that thru 12/24 if you buy $250 in gift certificates, you receive a $50 gift card.  425-284-5855. Thank you Penterra Santa. ;-)

EyeCandy-200 Central Way- You can have the lashes that can knock over an elf with one swift wink.  And say farewell to those annoying tubes of mascara and hello to some eyelash extensions. Bonus-Eyecandy also does make-up applications- *mention the Kirkland Blog* when you book and get half off your make-up for the fun events on your calendar between now and the end of the year. Just $20 ($40 value). 425-587-1133

Rock Star Tan Bar- 216 Park Lane- Did you think all you could do was tan here? Think again. If you are feeling pale and crackle-skinned from our winter weather, you're going to love this special package.  A red light therapy bed helps the body product collagen and elastin. Typically you go for 20 minute sessions three times a week. This Kirkland Blog deal is $99 for one month unlimited and also includes use of the hydration station and spray tanning.  You'll be feeling supple but looking hot for the New Year's parties for sure.  Waxing and tanning bed services are offered as well. No appt necessary.

My Flawless Tan
-123 Lake St Ste 103-You don't have to airbrush your photos-just airbrush yourself! Lots of unique and customized services to take advantage of here- sugaring, threading, airbrush tanning and airbrush make-up application to name a few- and they are open 7 days a week so you can be fabulous any time you want.  So- here are the deals! *Mention the Kirkland Blog* and get.... $30 single airbrush make-up application (airbrush foundation, traditional MAC make-up, false lashes if desired). Get a full-body personalized airbrush tan for $20 (single session) for your upcoming event. You can also get a single area threading service for $10.  Threading? Yes- it is an ancient Indian form of hair removal using cotton thread that does not pull or damage skin and is safe for any age or skin type (available Sun/Mon only). With purchase of $50 or more you will score a free Pure Illumination lip gloss. Call for appt 425-208-2284

Tiffany St. John SkinCare-143 Park Lane, Suite 204-Tiffany does my facials and I've always been scared to tell you about her. I was worried because she's awesome and if you all found out, then you might book her calendar up and she won't have time to fit me in anymore.  Trust me, you will be relaxed with healthy glowing skin when you walk out.  Here's the deal: Enjoy a seasonal Gingerbread Exfoliating Facial for 70 minutes! This exfoliating treatment is customized for your skin- it refines texture and follicle size while leaving you radiant, thanks to glycolic acid, proteolytic enzymes and unique spherical dissolving beads. A relaxing face, neck and shoulder massage with antioxidant serums restore your youthful glow. Also includes a hand massage with warm sugarcane lotion followed by a hand paraffin dip to soothe and hydrate dry winter hands. Holiday special $80.

*Mention the Kirkland Blog* when you book your appt and receive one full sized cleanser for your skin type and 2 free samples of your choice (Vitamin C, Glycolic, Retinol, etc). Just don't take MY appt time! 206-261-2022.  These offers are good thru 1/15/12.

Fly Fitness- Beauty is about taking care of your whole body.  I know you may not be able to get in shape by that party Saturday night, but it's never too late to start trying. Traci at Fly is a professional kick-your-butt-into-shape warrior (ever so kindly).  Here are some holiday gift packages that you can give and get some freebies for yourself too! EVERYONE who purchases a gift package and *mentions the Kirkland Blog* receives 2 FREE classes. Shabam! Get on it. 425-522-4408

Basic Package w/t-shirts: 1 class/1 tee shirt $45, 5 classes/1 tee shirt $120, 10 classes/1 tee shirt $210, 20 classes/1 tee $375.  Fly Packages: 5 classes, 5 1/2 hr pvt sessions and a fly t-shirt $330, 10 classes, 10 1/2 hr pvt sessions and fly t-shirt $625     Superfly Package: 20 classes, 20 personal training sessions, Fly sweatshirt, Fly t-shirt, water bottle, yoga mat $1200.

Mermaid Extensions
- 14 Lakeshore Plaza- Ready for some thick fabulous holiday hair? Mermaid is the onlyhair extension salon in Washington. They use real hair and have two different kinds of techniques. Fusion which is done strand by stand and takes a few hours, or the "Instant Mermaid" which takes less than an hour so you can make it to all the other appts you have to make from this post.  :-) Consults are free.  And if you *mention the Kirkland Blog*, you can get one free 'bling' extension- a piece of tinsel in your hair! How cool (feathers are so yesterday...) Closed Sun & Mon.  Call ahead for your tinsel to make sure they can get you in. My girls just got some and think it is the coolest! (photo) 425-827-5664

Trendz Nail Bar- 7 Lake Street- Shellac it, baby! You want your hands to look good while gracefully gripping your peppermint martinis this season, so they need to be able to withstand the harshest conditions.  Trendz was one of the first in Kirkland to offer this popular service that promotes nail growth, strengthens nails and lasts at least 14 days.  No chipping, cracking or splitting- and they guarantee the service.  *Mention the Kirkland Weblog* and get a shellac manicure (solid color) and a pina colada pedicure for just $55. Expires 12/31. 48 hr cancellation req'd. 425-968-5078

Spa Krista
- 10 Lakeshore Plaza-A yellow smile is never a pretty one.  But modern technology can fix that too! In addition to lashes, massage, airbrush tanning, facials/peels, waxing/tinting, you can also get your teeth whitened at SpaKrista.  After much research, they carefully selected the DaVinci teeth whitening system for their clients to enjoy a gentle treatment with exceptional results in just 60 minutes.  A little organic plant and mineral based gel combined with a whitening light and a licensed technician will erase those pesky coffee stains in a jif.  *Mention the Kirkland Weblog* and you will get this $249 service for $99 thru 12/31. 425-298-4575

Herban Wellness
- 103 Lake St. South- There are all-natural ways to beautify yourself too. Katya over at Herban Wellness was telling me about her Fabulous Facial Oil ($10) that combines the most nourishing hydrating anti-aging oils, jojoba oil and rosehip seed oil, for dry and sensitive skin. Or how about some Healthy SkinTea that is gently detoxifying and mineralizing? This helps support all of the organs of detoxification, the skin being the largest organ, and lessens inflammatory responses. The first person to go into Herban Wellness and *mention the Kirkland Weblog* will win a FREE package of healthy skin tea ($5.50 value). 206-330-2171.

I hope you guys enjoy all of your pampering services and are feeling your best this holiday season!  Special thanks to all of the local businesses that helped make this fun and also to Lacie of Posh by Lacie Powell for teaming with me on this holiday series of posts.  She is an awesome resource for all of your personal styling needs so don't forget her when you need a little help. She has a great blog too! Please make a point to keep it local as you are finishing up your shopping and primping and poofing. Merries to you all. xoxo j

Life is Good. Go visit Regan and Marty (and Jake too!).

I have two new friends.  Their names are Regan and Marty Montano and they own the new "Life is Good, Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe" store at 125 Lake St S (Romy's old spot). How we met is a perfect example of who they are and what their shop is about.  I was walking down Lake Street and passed a woman on the sidewalk who looked me in the eye, gave me a big friendly smile and said hello. So I instinctively did so in return and thought to myself, "huh, she's in a good mood." 

 Fast-forward 30 minutes and I had decided to walk into "Life is Good" for the first time.   I met Marty when I walked in the door and just as he's telling me about how the concept is to 'keep it simple' and 'spread optimism' and be 'happy with what you have' while sharing good vibes..........out from the back room walks his wife, Regan, the incredibly friendly stranger I had just encountered.   We instantly recognized each other and got chatting.  I love the story about how the company got started-very funny, it's a quick read here

Regan and Marty are so likable and down to earth you just want to hug 'em.  They have never been in retail before and with two boys away at college, they were looking for something new to do. Marty was an accountant and Regan a nanny.  They have always loved the brand and Kirkland so everything just fell in place for them at lightning speed.  They seem to be enjoying their location, "You meet the cutest people," Regan gushed about Kirkland.  There is something for everyone in this store- men, women, kids, babies, even dogs! Brightly colored pj's, fun socks, cozy hats, shirts, sweatshirts, much of it with the 'Life is Good' messages on it.  You will also find great stocking stuffers like SLAP watches. There is a wide range of price-points to work with any budget.  And there is even a TV and leather chairs so your husband can lounge while you shop.  "Life is Good" and their mascot, Jake (in wall on photo up top) have quite a following....fans have been coming into the store and thanking the Montanos for opening. 

So put a smile on your face and head on in.  I'm convinced that Regan and Marty could muster a grin from even the crustiest of Scrooges.  Right now they are open 7 days a week 10-6 (and later as needed).  After the holidays they will be closed on Mondays. 425-242-0867. info@jakeskirkland.com

Kirkland Holiday Guide: Decor!

One of my favorite places in downtown Kirkland to browse home goods is Simplicity Decor. I first met A, as he's warmly called, at a small decorating seminar he was giving. We had a small but hearty group. He spoke with kindness and great passion as he shared with us how to make small changes to make a big impact in our homes. Since then, I've watched his active participation in the community both from a social and business standpoint. He can often be found partnering with local charities for a fun party to benefit a community need or sharing the hottest home trends in his initmate classes. Bottom line? A knows how to "work it". His lastest promo, 12 Days of Gift Bliss has been a huge hit! I decided to check out what A is offering in the way of decor this holiday season and would like to share a few of my favorites with you.

What's that? You hate decorating too? Well you're in luck my friend because that too is one of the many things in which POSH by Lacie Powell specializes. We had our Gift Post winner and now it's time to treat our next lucky reader! Post a pic of your favorite Simplicity Decor item on my facebook page by December 5th and you'll be entered into a drawing for three hours of service from POSH. Good luck!


Let's start with the givens. Decor with a true holiday feel.



A cheerful group, these felt figurines would make a darling addition to a mantle or side table.



Cache_240_240_Dots & Dashes Hanging Garlands Set of 6


For those more modern decorators, these silver stringed spheres are the perfect solution to the snoozual popcorn garland and snowflake paper chains.


Now let's move onto the more subtle approach. For me, I prefer to take everyday pieces and add my own holiday flair. This keeps the decor festive but not overly obvious or in your face (read candy canes and "snowy" window panes).



At first glance, you may think this is a book about Santa but au contraire mon frere. It's a book about believing in yourself. Isn't that sweet? Add it to a coffee table at Christmas and not only are you festive, but you're spreading good cheer.



Arabesque Grass Green-2


Chartreuse is one of my favorite colors to use during the holidays. It's such a modern twist on pine green. This pillow with it's fillagree type design adds just the right touch of festivity. Bonus! Removable cover!



Cache_240_240_Flat Pack Chalkboard


What's on the menu for tonight's party? I love the idea of putting these up in the kitchen or over a casual brunch buffet to share with your guests what they'll be wining and dining on. Try applying them to a table for a cheese display--it's as easy peasy to write the name of your spreads next to the cheese.




  Cache_240_240_Tulip Candleholder


How beautiful would these be as an addition to a centerpiece?  Or as A taught in one of his classes, there is impact in numbers so imagine a couple dozen of them lining your mantle or dining table! Magnifique!




Cache_240_240_Frasier Fir Sink Set


No doubt you'll be hosting guests this season so spice up their water closet with a delightfully yummy soap and lotion set that smells of fir needles!




Cache_240_240_Gavin 36inch Bar Table

One must-have on my list is a bar cart or bar table. Snag this beauty just in time for your Christmas Eve party. Folks will gather round and chat the night away.


Well kiddies, that's a wrapping pap-I mean wrap up! Wishing you all the warmth possible in your homes this season.



Meet Lacie Powell of POSH by Lacie Powell—your expert on all things style. Lifestyle that is! Lacie’s passion is providing one-of-a-kind inspiration tailored to life’s most intimate and creative moments. POSH offers fashion, event and home styling services to the discerning clientele whose crazed "rock star" lifestyle is matched only by the desire for quality and resistance to sacrificing beauty and class just because life gets busy!  Simply put, she makes things beautiful. Join her as she explores everything from fashion to foyers to fanciful fêtes. www.poshbylaciepowell.com